20 Checklists on Flammable Liquids Storage and Containers

flammable-liquid-containerFlammable liquids in the plant site can increase fire hazard potential, whether they are in small or big quantity. There are various flammable liquids in the plant site, for instance gasoline, solvents, paints and thinners. We can easily recognize them through their flammable hazard sign.

As a reminder, I will illustrate briefly about flammable liquid definition and classification. Please refer to the summary below when you need to determine flammable liquid.

Flammable Liquid Definition and Classification

Flammable and combustible liquids classification is mainly determined by the flash point and boiling point. Flash point is defined as the lowest temperature at which flammable liquid generates enough flammable vapors to ignite. Boiling point is defined as the temperature at which a liquid changes to vapor state at a certain pressure.

Flammable liquids are classified into:
Class IA: includes liquids that have flash points below 22.8oC and boiling points below 37.8oC.
Class IB: includes liquids that have flash points below 22.8oC and boiling at or above 37.8oC.
Class IC: includes liquids that have flash points at or above 22.8oC but below 37.8oC

Combustible liquids are classified into:
Class II: includes liquids that have flash points at or above 37.8oC but below 60oC.
Class IIIA: includes liquids that have flash points at or above 60oC but below 93oC.
Class IIIB: includes liquids that have flash points at or above 93oC.

Flash points and boiling points data can be easily found in MSDS, especially in the Section III Physical and Chemical Data.

20 Important Checklists

Now we are going to talk about 20 safety checklists on flammable liquids storage and container. Check one by one and make sure we have left nothing.

  1. Maintain flammable liquid stock at the minimum inventory level. Over stock will surely increase fire risk.
  2. Flammable liquids storage and location shall be separated from other materials and chemicals.
  3. Store flammable liquid away from the processes.
  4. Remove any source of ignition (sparks, hot surface, open flames, smoking material) from flammable liquid storage and containers.
  5. Provide clear label for each flammable liquid stored.
  6. Design appropriate ventilation to disperse flammable vapors from spill, leak or release from any process.
  7. Use appropriate container with lid and spillage catchments trays.
  8. If possible replace a flammable liquid with a less flammable one.
  9. Eliminate flammable liquid from the process altogether.
  10. Keep the container closed when it is not used.
  11. Flammable liquid storage should not obstruct exit path.
  12. Inspect storage tanks and containers for holes and leaks, and to ensure caps and seal conditions.
  13. Use only appropriate cabinets made of high-grade metal with self-closing doors and flame arresters for flammable liquids storage.
  14. Put the cabinets away from traffic, machinery, people and equipments that generate sparks, flames or heat.
  15. Do not store flammable liquid quantity more than the cabinets capacity.
  16. Use ventilation, an explosion-proof lighting and wiring, grounding system and elevated floor for storage room.
  17. Place proper warning labels and signs on containers and storage room.
  18. Provide sprinkler system and back-up protection.
  19. Do not allow unaothorized people to access flammable and combustible liquid storage and containers.
  20. For flammable liquid storage tank, it had better to install a dike with enough capacity. Read my previous article on how to calculate dike capacity.

The above checklists suggest a very basic safety requirement for flammable and combustible storage and container. There must be other points that should be considerred. Please feel free to add them to this post.

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